Erika, I used Duolingo, Rosetta Stone, Pimsleur, Transparent Language, and Living Language, not to mention several books and one online class from the local community college and a private tutor, and I lived in a Spanish-speaking household for several years!* I became proficient at reading and understanding but the words don’t come out of my mouth and if they do, they don’t sound anything like their supposed to. It was the same when I study French for 6 years in school. My grades were excellent except when it came to verbal tests.

Someone once told me that if you are tone-deaf, which I am, it’s almost impossible to learn to speak another language once you are out of childhood. My husband can say a word in Spanish and I will repeat exactly what I heard and it will be wrong. He can repeat the word multiple times and each time what I hear and say is different than what he said. Had the same problem with all the programs/apps and with my tutor.

I was always a writer but lived in a bookkeeper’s body before I found Medium and broke free — well, almost. Working to work less and write more.

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